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County intensifies fight against Armyworms

Trans Nzoia County government has received 3,266 liters of broad-spectrum pesticide from the national government to be used in the control of the African Armyworms that have infested Maize plantations in the region.

The county’s Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries executive committee member Mary Nzomo said the migratory insects have been spotted on sprouting Maize plantations in several farms within the five sub-counties.

“In a period of three weeks, the insects have been spotted on maize plantation at Kimaran, Chepsiro, Rafiki, Olkatongo, Siuna, Sirende, Namgoi and Waitaluk among other areas,” said Nzomo, while receiving the chemicals.

She further said apart from food insecurity fears, the insects have also attacked livestock feeds majorly Bhoma Rhodes at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) farm in Kitale.

“We are urging farmers who have spotted the insects in their farms to liaise with Agriculture officials to have their farms sprayed in time to contain them since the insect is migratory,” said Nzomo.

The African Armyworm is more lethal than the Fall Armyworm whose destruction rate was at between 30% to 40% of crops on a farm. The African Army Worm consumes every vegetation.

The chemicals that were supplied by the plant protection division and the food security directorate within the Ministry of Agriculture will be sprayed by a team of spray service providers.

“There are low volume chemicals for motorised sprayers that don’t use water for large scale farmers and there is a category that can be mixed with water for small scale farmers,” she said.

The CEC has deployed Agricultural extension officers in all the five sub-counties to sensitise farmers on the effects of the insects and the first steps that should be taken in regard to raising the alarm.

By Kosuri Valarie

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